Sri Lanka ĎAí teamís tour a crucial one, says Manager Ranjit
The Manager of the Sri Lanka ĎAí team Ranjit Fernando believes that
the upcoming unofficial series against their Australian counterparts is
a crucial one for Sri Lanka cricket.
Fernando who is also a member of the newly appointed Selection
Committee said that he is pleased to serve Sri Lanka Cricket once again
and hope that the players will make use of this tour to improve their
talent and the skill level.
Ranjit Fernando Picture by Mahinda Vithanachchi
Following are the excerpts from the interview.
Q: What made you think that you should comeback and serve Sri
Lanka Cricket once again?
A: When I was asked to do the job I thought at some point one
has to make a sacrifice to make a difference. And I felt that there were
certain things needed to be addressed in Sri Lanka cricket and with the
exposure that I have had I also felt that I might be able to do
something about it. That was the main reason. As I said it was a
sacrifice and particularly as a national selector I canít get involved
in commentary. But I believe that it is worth it.
Q: What were your previous assignments with Sri Lanka Cricket
and the experience?
A: Anura Tennekoon and myself, we were the first managers of
Sri Lanka cricket when we were admitted into the ICC and I have managed
a lot of junior sides over the years until the 1990ís.
I was really the full time manager when Arjuna Ranatunga was captain.
I had the experience of handling very tricky situations like the
Muralitharan being Ďno balledí by Ross Emerson in Adelaide. And a lot of
issues gave me the exposure to handle things which are sort of
I also believe that over the years I have managed young people and as
a result of it my man management skills also are to an extent developed.
So I think I always felt that there was something that I could have
given back even at these late stages.
Q: What was the most important series that made an impact on
A: The key factor I find is that handling young cricketers is
something which you gain by experience. You learn out of what the
experience of other people and that is something that I have looked at
upon even a hobby.
One of the things I do as a hobby is I read, virtually all the great
coaches their experiences how they have reacted to various situations
and I think that has helped me in good stead. I feel that this is the
right time to try and pass that down to the young cricketers because I
feel there is a lack of man management skills that are around generally.
Q: What is the actual role of a cricket manager?
A: I believe that a managerís role now as it stands is running
the administrative side of the game. There are two specific roles that
have been given.
That is to say that there is a coach who handles the cricketing
aspect, there are other people within the training staff that handles
various other specialized aspects like training, physiotherapy, there is
specialized bowling coaches and so on and so forth.
But my perception of a manager is that the manager is in overall
charge and I believe that there is no substitute for that purely because
you can have only one man in overall charge. And that person reports to
Sri Lanka Cricket.
Q: What is the significance of this tour overall for you and
for the team?
A: There is a transference I think from the period which we
were sort of comfortably going on to a period where we might be looking
to try and make changes.
Now that is the big difference that I see where you try and sort of
bring that transition out of these very talented young cricketers. As
far as talent and skills are concerned I donít think they are second to
anyone in the World.
But I feel that there is a little more that we need to do with them
to make them more rounded cricketers.
One of my goals is that of this tour if I can make every player be
the best he could be I feel that I would achieve that goal and that is
my primary objective.
Q: There is a lack of test cricket at the moment for Sri Lanka
and how do you look at this situation?
A: On what we have seen on paper we have had a lack of test
This coming year I believe we will have something like six and there
is some amount of ĎAí team cricket as well. But having said that I must
compliment the cricket officials who are currently there and even those
who have got involved in cricket in the previous eraís for playing a lot
more A team cricket.
That exposure I think has given Sri Lanka a lot more bench strength.
Now the key thing is to try and develop that bench strength to even a
Q: There is a habit among the up and coming cricketers to
become all- rounders rather than concentrating on one particular area as
it was in the past. How would you look at the situation?
A: That phenomenon seems to be catching on with lot of the younger
players purely because there is so much of the shorter version of the
game available, the money is in the Twenty20 game so players tend to
look at that, thatís quite natural and I think thatís going to be a hard
act to try and curtail.
But having said that I think the key would be the people in charge
the coaches and so on while allowing players to do both parts of it to
try and get them to work much harder on the area in which they have
So I would think that whilst we look at a negative I think an
opportunity has come around where you find the players who are going to
be good in both and you have a chance of making him a great player out
of one of that. So the overall standards can also improve out of this
negative sort of belief that we have.